A Queen and a Princess

With my mom a couple of months after being selected as SFVJACC Queen.

When I was a little girl, my mother told me that one of her dreams was for me to be in a Japanese American beauty pageant which was closely tied to a week-long festival in Los Angeles known as Nisei Week. The first Nisei Week celebration took place in 1934, and a year later, the queen pageant was added. With the exception of the years during which World War II took place, the Nisei Week Festival has taken place yearly. I knew how much my mother wanted me to participate in Nisei Week, but since I wasn’t that interested in vying for a queen title and being in a pageant, I tucked the idea of pursuing such a goal in the back of my mind and kind of forgot about it.

Shortly after I turned 18, I decided to contact the Japanese-American community center close to where I lived and inquired about the pageant, only to be told that the age requirements for queen candidates were changed to 19 to 25. The following year, I inquired again, but the area’s queen selection had already been made at that time. After that, I simply forgot about the Nisei Week queen selection. Then the year that I turned 25, I figured that I had one final chance to see if I could win a queen title and advance to the Nisei Week pageant. So I submitted my candidate profile and waited for the queen selection day to approach, while also keeping my plans completely hidden from my mom. I thought that if I wasn’t selected as the San Fernando Valley queen, I wouldn’t say anything to my mother, so as to spare her any disappointment.

While at the queen selection event, I noticed that I was up against only one other candidate, but that candidate had competed for the queen title for two consecutive years previously, and since she was also 25 years old, the event was her final chance at being selected as queen. I made an assumption that since the judges were familiar with the other candidate, she would most likely be chosen as their queen.

We were assessed on our physical appearance and poise, were asked impromptu questions while standing on a small stage, and were interviewed individually by every single judge. When it was time to announce the 1991 San Fernando Valley Japanese Community Center Queen, who would then go on to compete at the Nisei Week pageant with 8 other regional queens, I prepared myself to hear the other candidate’s name, so it was a complete surprise when I heard my name called. Next thing I knew, the judges and guests were congratulating me, and the former queen placed a bouquet of tulips in my arms. When I arrived home, I called my mom to tell her the news, and she was incredibly proud and thrilled.

At Mayor Tom Bradley’s office with fellow Nisei Week Princess and WLAJACC Queen Alice Akahoshi

Over the next three months, I went to pageant practice 3 days per week, attended events with the rest of the court, and was primed and polished for business visitations and parades. It was like attending Japanese-American charm school, and I was grateful for the experience. I wore a tiara to many events, and also wore a sash whenever clad in kimono or in the matching outfits the court was expected to wear during events and visitations. We performed in front of 1,200 guests during the pageant, and though I didn’t win the Nisei Week Queen title, I was a Nisei Week Princess, still held the Queen title for my region, and became part of an incredible community.

The Best Ways to Boost Your Confidence Today



Image via Pexels

Here is another outstanding and motivating article from Karen Weeks of elderwellness.net which you will enjoy reading!

Are you struggling with your confidence? Signs of low self-esteem include being overly sensitive to criticism, having anxiety, lashing out, and being socially withdrawn. These tips, courtesy of Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog, can help you boost your confidence.

Start Exercising

Exercise helps boost your confidence in different ways. Your improved health, strength, and appearance make you feel good about yourself. Working out gets your endorphins going, which boosts your mood. Feeling happier and improving your mental health can help you feel confident. Plan to fit in the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of exercise weekly.

Improve Your Nutrition

What you eat can affect your attitude and how you feel about yourself. Pay attention to how different foods impact your mood and enjoy more of the healthy foods that improve your outlook. Filling your diet with nutritious, whole foods also helps you stay healthier and either lose or maintain your weight, which can boost your confidence in your physical appearance.

Change Your Career and Update Your Resume

Millennials held an average of six different jobs by reaching the age of 26, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Whether you’re on track to reach that number or you’ve been in your current job your entire career, looking for something new can help with your confidence if your job is stressful or you deal with difficult coworkers. 

Before seeking a new position, you can create a slick and professional-looking resume by utilizing an online resume creator. You can choose from a library of professionally designed resume templates, and then add your own copy, photos, colors, and images. What’s more, this tool is free to use and a resume can be created in minutes.

Master Positive Self-Talk

Negative self-talk about the things that make you different chips away at your confidence. You might tell yourself that you’re too nerdy, aren’t worthy, or don’t fit in. You may not even realize you’re saying these things to yourself. Realizing you’re using negative self-talk and switching to a positive internal voice can boost your confidence. It might seem awkward at first, but keep saying positive things about yourself to change your thoughts and grow your confidence.

Learn to Relax

A survey from the American Psychological Association shows that 49% of people surveyed had negative effects on their behavior due to stress, including tension, getting angry, and yelling. Feeling constantly stressed can interfere with your confidence. Make time for self-care, try yoga, do breathing techniques, or meditate to relax. 

Volunteer

One of the benefits of volunteering is enhanced self-confidence. Feeling good about helping others can improve how you see yourself. You might also discover new skills and talents as you volunteer. Look for a cause that speaks to you and find ways to help. 

Improve Your Circle

Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel better about yourself can help your confidence. If your friend circle constantly breaks you down, it’s difficult to overcome your insecurities. Find a group that accepts you as you are and has a positive attitude to uplift you. If you want to meet new people, check Meetup for groups in your area that match your interests.

Boost Your Confidence

Little changes add up to increased confidence. With the tips above – including sticking to an exercise regimen, eating nutritiously, switching up your career and updating your resume, and learning to relax – you’ll be able to improve your self-esteem. 

Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog is as varied as the blogger herself, who works as a physician, certified nutrition coach, body transformation coach, fitness trainer, model, writer, researcher, and sponsored athlete. Read more informative articles today!

Regular Self-Care Activities Boost Your Mental and Physical Health


Image via Pexels

By Karen Weeks

When you commit and devote the time to care for yourself, your body feels better. You radiate health and energy and can operate at your peak physical performance level. But all those self-care activities also benefit your mind. Here is a look at how healthy living boosts your mental health, presented to you below by Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog.

Eat Nutritious Food

A focus on healthy eating gives your body the nutrients and calories needed to thrive. Fill your plate with colorful fruit and vegetables and add a small portion of lean protein, such as salmon, chicken, sirloin, eggs, or turkey. Also, focus on consuming whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and low-fat dairy products. Eating these foods keeps your blood sugar steady to prevent mood swings

Don’t forget your snacks! When the afternoon slump kicks in, choose a smoothie, fruit, or a handful of nuts instead of a bag of chips or a sugary soda. Then your hunger will be taken care of, and you’ll also get a burst of energy to help you mentally focus for the rest of the afternoon.

Do Exercise You Enjoy

Exercise doesn’t have to feel like work when you do an activity you love. Besides keeping your body in shape, research has shown exercise reduces anxiety, alleviates depression, and improves your sense of well-being and self-esteem. Do whatever activity you enjoy, such as brisk walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, or dancing.

Create a Healthy Home Environment

Is your home a relaxing place that you enjoy being in, or does your family argue, complain and make overly critical comments about the house? The fix may be more straightforward than you think. A dirty and cluttered home is unpleasant to look at and impacts your mental health by limiting your ability to focus, increasing your stress levels, and can cause conflict in relationships. Declutter and clean your house to transform your home into a vibrant and fresh space. Open up the windows to let some fresh air in as well. You’ll be surprised what a difference a clean and tidy home makes for you and your family.

If you have items that you want to keep but you simply don’t have room to store in your house, look for storage options outside the home. Storage units are affordable ways to securely stash items (big or small) until you decide what, exactly, you want to do with them. Use websites designed to help you with finding self storage in Los Angeles. With over 130 different storage options in LA, chances are you can find something near your home.

Seek Counseling

If you’re experiencing issues with anxiety or depression, a mental health counselor can help you feel better. The therapist can help you create healthy and productive coping mechanisms and tools to help you manage your emotions.

Don’t let your packed schedule or dread of an office visit turn you off from seeking the help you need. A great and popular new alternative is online therapy. Various telehealth online platforms are available, offering a variety of licensed therapists for you to connect with for assistance. You may even be able to secure a same-day appointment. In addition, telehealth therapists accept most insurance plans, keep out-of-pocket costs manageable, and offer more affordable co-pays than an in-office counselor. 

Take a Trip

Traveling to a new destination takes you out of your routine and immerses you in new sights and experiences. A pleasure trip can reduce your stress and lift your spirits. It can also heal your job burnout caused by working too many hours for a lengthy period. For the ultimate in self-care travel, book a wellness retreat in a location you’ve always wanted to visit.

You probably already noticed how your self-care activities keep you physically healthy. Take steps to declutter your home (and store away anything you want to keep), start exercising, and book a relaxing self-care trip. Now you know the mental health benefits you gain as well.

Captured By Fragrance

Copyright: svl861

Several months ago, I read a book entitled The Emperor of Scent by Chandler Burr, which mainly explores the life and work of scientist Luca Turin. Luca Turin has made an indelible mark on the world of scent theory because he believes in a different concept of how we smell, and backs up his belief with hard science. What I did not expect while reading this book was that I learned how deeply immersed Turin is in the world of fine fragrance, to such an extent that he wrote a well respected perfume guide.

As I continued to read The Emperor of Scent, I became intensely curious about several fragrances which have been touted the world’s best scents. Turin’s description of Chamade by Guerlain captured me so intensely that I blind purchased two tiny vintage bottles of the extrait, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed, because the fragrance is sublime.

Une note de départ verte et anodine donne le coup d’ envoi à un miracle qui se produit sur plusiers heures, voire plusiers jours. A green and somewhat nondescript top note launches a miracle that happens over several hours, even several days. As soon as the initial fog dissipates, a splendid form appears, all of one piece, smooth and seamless, a strong white note, powdery and sculptural, that strengthens without losing complexity until complete evaporation. Typically Guerlain in its flattering and tender character, Chamade is nevertheless a haughty perfume, pure and distant and miles away from the slightly catty chic of Jicky and Shalimar. Its tenacity is prodigious, and one would believe it conceived to be smelled two days later. Put it on at least two hours before asking it to have its effect.

A masterpiece of elegance and poetry. One of the greatest perfumes of all time.”

How could I pass up an opportunity to obtain Chamade after reading Turin’s description?

I became obsessed with finding other vintage fragrances, such as Diorissimo (Dior) and L’Interdit (Givenchy), and also found other lovely scents which are currently being produced. However, I always try to get the vintage versions, because the newer iterations are never exactly the same as the originals. I also try to get the extrait or the eau de parfum instead of the EDT because of the staying power of perfume formulations.

I ended up finding a vintage bottle of Diorissimo EDP, which is a gorgeous expression of lily-of-the-valley, but sadly, it doesn’t last on my skin. I kept a bottle of the original L’Interdit (1957) which my mother had in her collection, and I have noted a difference between the vintage version and the bottle which I recently purchased. Nevertheless, the modern take on L’Interdit is absolutely lovely when mixed with my body chemistry.

I also found other fragrances during my recent foray into the world of scent, and stumbled upon the lovely floral Mon Guerlain (Guerlain), and the intense Sublime (Jean Patou). I revisited Byblos (Byblos) which I had kept from my mom’s collection, as well as J’Adore (Dior). Another fragrance which I absolutely love is a brand new offering from Givenchy called Irrestistible Fresh, which is a beautiful light fruity/floral.

The one mistake I made was in blind purchasing Joy (Jean Patou) based on the fact that it is the most expensive fragrance in the world. When I received the bottle in the mail, I spritzed some on my pulse points, and immediately became concerned because I could smell an imminent funk from the mixture. In addition, it was heady stuff, very grandma-esque, and just not my style. I waited for a half hour for the fragrance to meld with my body, and all I could think of was how much I wanted to jump in the shower to wash it off! The clincher for me was when my kitten approached me, took one whiff, and made swipes with his paw on the sofa as if to cover the results of a recent potty session. I took another sniff, and realized that Joy had turned into something that smelled like cat urine on me, thanks to the civet which is part of the base of the legendary scent. I returned it immediately.

Now I am just experimenting with the various fragrances I have in my collection, and will switch up my scent depending on my mood, the weather, or what I plan to do later that day. And though Marc Jacobs’ Daisy Eau So Fresh is still my go to daily fragrance, I am truly enjoying the variety which the new additions to my fragrance collection are providing.

Popular Nail Shapes For 2022

Source:: 123rf.com
Image ID: 84478349
Copyright: druzhinina

It seems like lots of ladies are opting to have their nails professionally done these days, and there are now an assortment of different nail shapes which one can choose. The six most popular nail shapes are shown in the above image, with Oval, Round, and Squoval nail shapes best suited for imparting the most natural look. You ca even create an optical illusion with your nail shape, so that if you have narrow, long fingers and want them to look more substantial, you can opt for the Squoval (or even Square, which has sharper angles) silhouette. Those with short or wide fingers who are willing to have a bit of length to their nails will find the Oval shape more flattering and slimming.

Depending on how long your nails are, and whether you have natural or acrylic nails, you could adopt any nail shape and make them look elegant, especially if your nails are professionally shaped. An example is the Square nail shape featured in the image below. You can see that the model’s fingers are long and slender, so she can carry the more severe square shape and have nails which look feminine and pretty.

Square Nail Shape:

Source: 123rf.com
]Image ID: 140647549
Copyright: marigo

Oval Nail Shape:

Oval nails are flattering on just about any hand shape, and the shape is durable as well.

Copyright: berezandr

Ballerina/Coffin Nail Shape:

I used to have Ballerina shaped nails for a number of years, and I just got tired of the shape, so I switched to Almond. Ballerina, or Coffin, shaped nails, have side edges which are tapered, so the shape can have a nice slenderizing effect on small, short fingers. However, partially due to the fact that I had a horrible nail technician whose work would chip, peel, lift and break constantly, I had to go to her for frequent repairs. I found that the sharp edges of the coffin shape would crack and chip off, despite being very careful with them. So unless you are getting your nails done by a skilled nail technician, I would opt against this shape, based on my previous experience.

@nailsbysab

Almond Nail Shape:

I finally changed to the Almond nail shape back in November, after my previous nail technician disappeared without a trace. I can honestly say that the Almond shape is fantastic, versatile, strong, feminine and flattering to my small hands. My only regret is having waited as long as I did to change to this shape, but I never trusted my previous nail technician to do a skillful job with a new nail shape. You can see in the image below how flattering the Almond nail shape is for a woman’s hands.

Copyright: marigo

Stiletto Nail Shape:

I honestly have never seen anyone sport the Stiletto nail shape except celebrities and 19 year old strippers. The Stiletto shape is very severe, with nails which come to a very sharp point, so I can’t imagine someone getting Stiletto nails unless that person had a team of assistants who did everything, presumably possibly even performing wiping duty during a celebrity’s bathroom visits (I presume a bidet would be a good investment for someone who has stiletto nails). To be honest, I wouldn’t even want to try Stiletto nails, even for a few minutes, because they are incredibly impractical and ridiculous.

Source: Nail Art Designs 2020

Mountain Peak Nail Shape:

There is a variation of Stiletto called Mountain Peak, which is a shorter version, featuring a sharp point at the tip of the nail. While it is far less treacherous than the Stiletto shape, it still evokes a feeling of vampires and haunted castles. Simply by virtue of the sharp, pointed edge of Mountain Peak, it also lacks the versatility and practicality of other, more moderate nail shapes. However, I think it could work for some women as long as leggings and tights aren’t essential elements to their wardrobe, or they don’t care if they rip into every delicate fabric they touch. I can’t imagine this shape working with nitrile gloves, which are an essential part of my life as a physician.

Source: Secret Of Girls

This Is Seriously An Honor!

This is crazy to me! I was bored one afternoon and decided to type in “hottest female doctors” in the Google search field. I had done this in the past and was stunned when I saw more than one article which mentioned me. I once again stumbled upon another article which was published in 2016, and which is a highlighted “People Also Ask” question on Google: “who is the hottest female doctor in the world:?”. I honestly thought I might see a venerated female colleague as a response to that question, but instead, I saw that there was an article on me!

I have gotten a LOT of criticism for being forthright in my determination to show off the labors of my hard work in the gym. My determination comes from being a “practice what I preach” type of person, and not from wanting to be in any type of spotlight. So before the haters emerge and decide to blast me, keep in mind where I am coming from.

Review of Nutree Brazilian Bottox Expert

My hair was always straight throughout childhood and adulthood, to the point where it often fought any type of curl or wave I tried to create. Then menopause hit, and my hair mutated into a super wavy, frizzy, unmanageable mess. To give you an idea of how wavy my hair became after the “change”, let’s just say that as my hair air dries after I wash it, it looks like I had put my hair into two pigtail braids and left them that way overnight, then unraveled them to release intense waves. On the rare occasion when I am rushing around and unable to run the flat iron through my hair once it has completely air dried, a few friends have witnessed how wavy my tresses have become. Despite the fact that those friends have remarked that they think it looks pretty, I cringe when I realize that someone has noticed the change in my hair texture.

Copyright: badahos
This was taken in 1991, when my hair was at its longest. You can see how straight it was.

I wouldn’t mind the waviness in my locks if 1) the wave was evenly distributed (the right side is considerably wavier than the left), and 2) my hair didn’t expand as it dried, creating a frizzy mushroom-shaped mass. I honestly feel a bit like Roseanne Rosannadanna when my hair is in the process of drying, and I fight it like crazy, using a brush-style blow dryer, hair oil, and shine serum. I have tried to skip the flat iron, but I truly can’t stand how my hair looks without that final smoothing step. I am always bound and determined to kill that hormonal squiggle which runs through my hair!

So when Nutree asked me to review their Brazilian Bottox Expert, I gladly agreed to do so, since I am always in search of products and treatments which can calm my unruly mop. This is considered a professional treatment, and the chemicals are rather harsh, so I strongly urge you to work in a very well ventilated room, wear gloves, and even wear protective eyewear if you have sensitive eyes like I do. Though I didn’t use my onion cutting goggles, I honestly did consider wearing them while I applied the treatment and for the 40 minutes during which I had the product penetrating into my hair. Even when I blow dried and flat ironed my hair, some of the fumes made me choke a bit, and my eyes teared a bit then as well.

Since Brazilian Bottox Expert is a thermo multi-control mask, and fills in the hair cuticle so that it is nice and smooth. So what you can expect from this treatment is hair which is shiny, smooth, and more manageable. The large jar should be enough for three treatments on my thick, waist-length, half-Asian hair, which I guess is acceptable. There is a sweet, bubble gum/fruity smell to the product, but that smell can be pretty strong when the product is being applied, or when a hot styling tool is introduced. That being said, the fumes are tolerable.

My post-menopausal wavy hair…

The first thing I did was wash my hair with an anti-residue shampoo, then allowed it to dry completely overnight while I slept (I’m lazy like that, and prefer to let my hair air dry). I then sectioned my hair into six sections, put on a pair of gloves, and applied the product to each section. I also made sure to comb the product through from roots to ends to make sure the product was distributed evenly. I set my timer for 40 minutes and made sure to sit in a well-ventilated room.

After 40 minutes, I lightly rinsed my hair, making sure to leave a thin layer of product in my hair. I could tell that there was a thin layer of product by the slippery quality in my wet hair. I towel dried my hair, then blow-dried it with a round brush. I will admit that this took FOREVER because I have very thick, long hair, and also because I detest blow drying my hair. One of the reasons why my hair is so healthy is because I only wash it twice a week, and I only run a brush-style hair dryer through my damp hair for about 3 minutes to speed up the air-drying process. So what I did was split up the blow-drying into three sessions, with about 20 minutes in between each session.

Once my hair was completely dry, I flat ironed my hair, taking small sections and running the flat iron 12 times through each section. The heat from the flat iron really kicked up the fumes, and my eyes began to water a bit, but I toughed it out. The result was incredibly smooth hair, without that nasty frizz I have been getting after washing my hair.

My hair immediately after finishing the treatment

About three days after I applied Brazilian Bottox Expert, I washed and conditioned my hair with Amazonliss Anti-Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner. As my hair dried, I noticed that the wave in my hair had relaxed somewhat, which surprised and delighted me since the product is not considered a straightener or relaxer. Right before my hair was completely dry, I ran a hair dryer through it, but it took no time to get it to dry, and my hair looked smooth and relatively frizz-free, with no mushrooming out (no more Roseanne Roseannadanna!). I could actually tolerate the amount of curl in my hair, but I still ran the flat iron through it.

My damp hair after washing it 3 days post Brazilian Bottox Expert application
My dry hair after washing and conditioning it
This is how my hair looked after flat-ironing it and sleeping on it overnight

I absolutely LOVE how my hair is significantly tamer, much more manageable, with less wave and considerably less frizz. The other bonus is how shiny my hair is now! I am hoping that this will last a couple of months, because it has completely changed how I feel about my hair now. Brazilian Bottox Expert is a complete gamechanger for me, and I honestly believe that anyone who is dealing with excessive curl and frizz and wants to make their hair more manageable should try this product.

Great Mineral Oil Free Product For Angry, Reactive Dry Skin

Source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 104888033
Copyright : magone

 

I had spent the last two months of 2020 searching high and low for a natural, rich, mineral-free cream which I could use on my very parched, eczema-tortured skin which developed as a result of an overly aggressive CO2 laser treatment, a 2 month reaction to mineral oil, and the cold, dry winter air. After searching high and low in an effort to find a solution, I stumbled upon a product which fit the bill: Ultra Repair Cream from First Aid Beauty. From the very first application, I got INSTANT relief, and my skin drank this stuff up. I slathered it all over my neck, chest, shoulders, and forehead, and all the itchiness went away almost instantly. Ahhhhhh…

While the cream is extremely thick, almost like frosting, it absorbs quickly and beautifully, and hydrates like a dream. Another thing I appreciate is the fact that this product is fragrance free, and that there is just a nice, clean, very faint neutral scent from the ingredients themselves.

Though I suspect that I will go through the 8.8 ounce tub pretty quickly in an effort to finally heal my angry skin (my entire upper body is suffering), I think it is well worth it, especially since so few creams out there are mineral oil free, and also since this, along with only two other products I have tried (Skyn Iceland Arctic Repair Cream, and La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Balm), have the ability to calm my reactive skin to a point where I don’t feel like I have a million ants crawling all over me.

I will most definitely purchase this cream again. And again. This may be a new holy grail of moisturizers for me!

I’m A Jasmin Influencer!

I am so thrilled to be a Jasmin Influencer!  I have been with them since early December, and I have a blast creating highlights for the site and posting every day.  Yes that’s right, every single day, even on holidays and weekends!

Please follow me at www.Jasmin.com/staceynaito  and check out my highlights and daily story elements!  You can also direct message me anytime through the site, and I also make myself available for Video Calls for a pocket of time every day.

Topics I cover include:

Dating

Relationship

Soul Mate

Fitness

Flirt Advice

Beauty

Lifestyle

Travel

Fashion

I haven’t posted anything on Dance, but who knows?  I may talk about my three year stint with salsa dancing on the Jasmin platform!

You can sign up for FREE and get 15 FREE CREDITS!

 

I am also always open to suggestions on topics which you would like to have me cover.  Want more nutrition tips?  Beauty hacks?  Travel deals? Relaxation techniques?  On the go workouts?  You tell me, I’m open!